Picente Announces Increased Patrols To Deter Drunk Driving

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., today announced that Oneida County and its law enforcement partners will be working to protect the travelling public through the Labor Day weekend through increased DWI road checks and saturation patrols. Picente noted that Oneida County’s efforts are part of statewide efforts to target unsafe driving over the Labor Day holiday and late summer peak driving season. 

“At this very busy time on our Oneida County highways, we want to do everything possible to send a strong message that people who drink and drive are going to pay the price for putting the lives of others at risk,” Picente said. “Patrols are very visible by design so that drivers think ahead to be sure that whoever gets behind the wheel at the end of a family vacation is fully able to drive safely. Most drivers get the message, but this is a message we can never stop sending because any life lost or ruined through a drunk driving accident is still one too many.”

Picente said that Oneida County’s effort is part of its long-standing partnership with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. All of New York state’s STOP-DWI Programs are participating in the "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" mobilization that runs through the Labor Day holiday. During the mobilization, State and local law enforcement agencies statewide will be out in force, utilizing sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to deter drunk driving and ensure the safety of our roadways.
"The key to improving highway safety is to reduce avoidable crashes. The State Police is committed to educating the motoring public about the risks associated with impaired driving, improper use of safety restraints, and speeding. To ensure the safety of all those who use New York's roadways, we will vigilantly enforce the traffic laws prohibiting these avoidable behaviors," said Superintendent Harry Corbitt of the New York State Police.
STOP-DWI, which stands for "Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated," was enacted to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related crashes in a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining highway safety program. The STOP-DWI program permits each of the state’s counties to establish a STOP-DWI Program that qualifies for the return of all fines collected for alcohol and other drug-related traffic offenses occurring within its jurisdiction. Additional information about Oneida County STOP-DWI efforts can be obtained by visiting Oneida County's web site (www.ocgov.net) and visiting the Oneida County STOP-DWI Program web page.  
Picente also noted these facts about DWI:
  • Every 40 minutes someone in the U.S. dies in an alcohol-related crash. In 2007 in New York State, 373 people were killed and more than 7,000 injured in nearly 9,500 alcohol-related crashes.
  • There were 1,130 DWI and related arrests in Oneida County in 2008.  362, or 32% of these arrests were effected by police officers working DWI selective patrols through the STOP-DWI Program. 
  • Tragically, 4 deaths were caused by alcohol/drug related motor vehicle crashes in Oneida County in 2008. 
  • It is estimated that one third of the drivers arrested for DWI have been arrested before. Seventy-five percent of drivers with suspended or revoked licenses continue to drive. Repeat DWI offenders are far more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
  • New York State continues to be among the top performing States in the war against drunk driving.  
  • By combining good laws with highly visible enforcement and adjudication actions that are clearly communicated to the public, the Empire State is among the safest when measuring drunk driving crash risk .